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Intensive Course on Planning Law

Planning law is widely recognized as being extraordinarily complex and inaccessible. This intensive course will introduce practitioners to some of the more difficult areas of planning control, including the Planning Act 2018 and the New Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2018 while highlighting areas where planning practices are particularly complicated and vulnerable to legal challenges.

About the course

Planning law is widely recognized as being extraordinarily complex and inaccessible. This intensive course will introduce practitioners to some of the more difficult areas of planning control, including the Planning Act 2018 and the New Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2018 while highlighting areas where planning practices are particularly complicated and vulnerable to legal challenges.

Lecturers are leading scholars and practitioners chosen for their capacity to communicate clearly and unpompously. Participants will be welcome to raise issues with the panel at the closing session.

This two-day intensive course is organised by the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin under the directorship of Professor Emerita Yvonne Scannell.

The course will take place in the Alex Hotel, Fenian Street.

Programme and Speakers


Thursday, 25 October 2018

9.00 Registration

9.30 – 10.15 Development Planning

The right to good administration under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and in Irish law. The requirements of the Aarhus Convention on rights to information, public participation and access to justice. Procedural due process. Matters that may and matters that must be taken into account in development planning. Ministerial guidelines and directions. General principles of law relevant to development planning. The expansion of the duty to give reasons for zoning decisions after the Christian and Connelly cases. Recent case law.

Lecturer: Dr Yvonne Scannell

10:15 – 10.45 Tea

10.45 – 11.15 Appropriate Assessments and Planning

How the Habitats Directive is implemented in planning legislation for private and local authority development. When is screening and appropriate assessment (AA) required? What are the applicable tests? Nature and extent of the duty to give reasons for screenings and assessments? What is a "significant" effect and an "adverse effect on integrity"? Can mitigation measures be considered at screening stage? The difference between compensation and mitigation and when each is required. The obligations on public authorities to record their screening decisions and assessments and decisions and to give reasons. Leading cases on Appropriate Assessments.

Lecturer: Danielle Conaghan

11.45 – 12.30 The Planning Decision

What planning authorities are entitled to take into account when deciding on planning applications. Conditions that may be legally attached to planning permissions. Invalid conditions. Planning contributions. The importance of the Ashbourne Holdings case. Reasons for decisions.

Lecturer: Emile Burke-Murphy

12.30 – 2.00 Lunch (not included)

2.00 – 3.00 The Planning and Development Act 2018

The powers of the new Planning Regulator. What is Marine Spatial Planning? Jurisdiction of local authorities. When are points of detail deemed agreed? When will previous breaches of the planning law affect new applications? When can an extension to the “life” of permission be refused? Why should publicans be worried? Some other important changes.

Lecturer: Brendan Slattery

3.00 – 3.30 Coffee

3.30 – 4.15 Substitute Consents

When and why are substitute consents necessary? What are the procedures for applying to them? What are “exceptional circumstances” justifying leave to apply for substitute consent? Can the process be avoided? Is it ever impossible to apply for a substitute consent? Leading European and Irish cases on substitute consents, including Commune di Corridonia, Sweetman (Houston), Sweetman (Ballysax), An Taisce (McQuaid Quarries) and Kilvinane Windfarm

Lecturer: Brendan Slattery

Friday, 26 October 2018

9.15 – 10.00 The 2018 EIA Regulations and what they require

Differences between EIA and AA. The integration of the EIA Directive into the planning system. Screening and scoping for EIA. Time limits for decisions. When EIA is required. The duty to consider alternatives. Multiple EIAs - Project splitting - Adequacy of EIS. Supplementing the EIS. The nature and extent of the assessment obligation. Reasons and reasoning for decisions taken. The quality of the information supplied and the expertise of assessors. Recent case law.

Lecturer: Dr Yvonne Scannell

10.00 – 10.45 Strategic Infrastructure

Some of the advantages of being strategic infrastructure. Projects which qualify as ‘strategic infrastructure’. Housing projects. Pre-application consultations and recent case law. Certification. Advantages and disadvantages of making a ‘strategic infrastructure’ application. Modifications to ‘strategic infrastructure’ development after permission. Distinction between local authority and private developer ‘strategic infrastructure’. Material Contravention of Development Plans. Oral hearing costs. Relevant case-law.

Lecturer: Danielle Conaghan

10.45 – 11.15 Tea

11.15 – 11.45 Interesting things about the Vacant Sites levy

Registration under the Urban Housing and Regeneration Act 2015 - the criteria for the designation of a site as vacant or regeneration land; the content and validity of notices of intent to place site on the vacant sites register, appeals against notices and placing of sites on the register, calculation of the levy imposed and appeals against amount calculated.

Lecturer: Jacinta Conway

11.45 – 12.30 Enforcement

When and how to enforce. The nature and extent of the obligation to enforce. The difference between a material and non material contravention of a planning permission. The importance of plans and particulars lodged with a planning application. Time limits. Practical issues with drafting enforcement notices. The Planning Injunction. Case Studies

Lecturer: John O’Regan

12.30 – 1.30 Lunch (not included)

3.00 – 3.30 Coffee

1.30 – 2.15 Planning Decisions: Judicial Review and Appeals

Appeals to An Bord Pleanala - Time limits - Oral hearings - Appeals against conditions only. Judicial review - Procedure under Planning and Development (Amendment) Acts. Time limits and locus standi - NGOs - Article 10a EIA Directive - Aarhus Convention - Legal Costs and Access to Justice - Section 50B.

Lecturer: Rory Mulcahy SC

2.15 On Panel Discussion

Because some lecturers may have unavoidable professional engagements, the right to substitute and rearrange lectures and lecturers is reserved.


Danielle Conaghan, LL.B is a partner in the Environment, Planning & Climate Change Group of Arthur Cox, solicitors. She has a special interest in water law. Danielle has particular expertise in environment and planning oral hearings; waste, judicial reviews; and injunction proceedings in respect of public and private strategic infrastructure projects.

Jacinta Conway, LL.B, is a solicitor in the Environmental, Planning and Climate Change of Arthur Cox, solicitors. She works mainly on waste, planning and energy law and public infrastructure projects. She has particular experience in judicial reviews and oral hearings.

Rory Mulcahy, LL.B, LL.M,SC is a distinguished practitioner in Environmental and Planning law. He has appeared in numerous cases in the High, Supreme and European courts.

Emile Burke Murphy, LL.B, BCL (Oxon), Barrister practices public law in the Law Library. He was a judicial assistant for two years and lectured in Land Law in Trinity

John O’Regan, LL.B is a barrister in the Law Library specialising in public law including Planning Law. He has represented both sides in many planning cases.

Yvonne Scannell, M.A., LL.M. (Cantab.), PH.D., LL.D. (h.c.), BL advises on all areas of planning and environmental law with a current particular interest in waste.

Brendan Slattery, LL.B,is a partner and head of environment and planning at McCann FitzGerald, Solicitors. Before this, he was a partner in Barry Doyle & Co advising An Bord Pleanála and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Reservations and Fees

Fees:* €400 per person for BOTH days

CPD Points: 10

Reservations: Reservations: Please complete the booking form below and send it to or CPD Programmes, School of Law, House 39, New Square, Dublin 2.

Cheques should be made payable to TCD No. 1 Account and returned to the above address. For EFT payments and/or invoices please see the course booking form.

* The proceeds from this course are used to promote legal education in the Law School.

Intensive Course on Planning Law Booking Form